2020: Week 12, August 9 – 15

Tantre Farm CSA Newsletter
WEEK #12
Aug. 9-15, 2020

	If needed, please contact Richard Andres & Deb Lentz at 2510 Hayes Rd. Chelsea, MI 48118 e-mail: tantrefarm@hotmail.com phone: 734-475-4323 website: www.tantrefarm.com. 												

	We  try to keep the printed newsletter to a 2-page maximum, which means that we won't list all the share items' descriptions every week, but refer you to previous newsletters for information on items that have already appeared in your shares.   You can always find past newsletters on our website at http://www.tantrefarm.com/newsletters/! 

	In our newsletter, we try to give you an accurate listing of the produce in your box; however, since the newsletter is published before the harvest, we may sometimes substitute some vegetables for others.  The information provided here is also published each week on our website.  **Also, if you’re having trouble identifying any unfamiliar produce, please look for “Veggie ID” with additional information on our website under CSA INFO or under RECIPES.	

THIS WEEK’S SHARE

ARUGULA: an aromatic, bright green, salad green with a peppery mustard flavor. See Week 1 newsletter for usage and storage tips.

GREEN BEANS (E-Z Pick):  a round, tender, dark green, snap bean with good sweet flavor.  See Week 11 newsletter for usage and storage tips.

CARROTS (Mokum):  sweet, slender, "pencil carrot" with edible green leaves.  Greens are delicious in soups and also salads. See  Week 6 newsletter for usage and storage tips.

SWEET CORN (Potawatomi): yellow kernels with excellent sweet flavor.   * We don’t treat our organic corn with pesticides, so you may find some earworms enjoying the corn too; just cut off the damaged part and cook the rest of the ear.  Delicious!! See Week 11 newsletter for usage and storage tips.

U-PICK FLOWERS (only available on the farm):  Every summer we plant a variety of flowers for drying or fresh bouquets.  We welcome  you to the farm to pick your flowers on any day of the week, but please contact us if it will be on other days besides Wednesdays and Fridays, so we can make sure to be around to show you where to go.  This week you can pick up to 10 stems.  You may want to bring a vase/jar to keep your flowers fresh going home, but we will have donated yogurt containers to fill with water as well.  Your bouquet is part of your share, although it is always greatly appreciated when you make a donation to pay for seeds and labor.  Extra bouquets cost $5/bunch.

FRESH HERBS:  Everyone will receive a bunch of Genovese Basil this week, an herb with sweet, spicy, shiny, green leaves; traditionally used in pesto, and originally from India where it was traded in ancient times via the spice routes.  This herb does not store well in a refrigerator, since it does not like cold temperatures. It will last longer when stored in a jar, vase, or glass of water on your counter or table top. 

KALE (Lacinato):  dark green, noncurled, blistered leaves, but heavily savoyed; very high in calcium, iron, vitamins A and C, and good source of fiber and folic acid.  See Week 5 newsletter for usage and storage tips.

LEEKS: green leaves with white to pale green stems.
Cleaning tip: slit from top to bottom and wash thoroughly with root facing up to remove all of the dirt trapped between the leaf layers. See Week 4 newsletter for usage and storage tips.

PEACHES: a rosy-orange skinned peach with firm, creamy yellow flesh; mature peaches will continue to ripen after they are picked.  These particular peaches seem to be particularly ripe, so please eat very soon!  See Week 11 newsletter for usage and storage tips.

CHILI PEPPERS:  You will receive Shishito (sweet, mild, slender Japanese chiles about 2- to 4-inches with squarish end.  It is said that 1 in 6 are hot!) and/or Poblano Chili Peppers (a mild variety of chili pepper known as “poblanos” when dark green; popular in southwestern recipes; heart-shaped fruit, which is mildly pungent with a lightly sweet, medium-hot flavor).
-How to use: often roasted or used in stir-fried dishes, with tempura, in salads, or as a pickled condiment
-How to store: for fresh peppers, store in refrigerator; for drying peppers, place string through the stems and hang in cool, dry, well-ventilated spot.  

POTATOES (Red Norland):  smooth, red skin and white flesh; great baked, boiled, or roasted. See Week 8 newsletter for usage and storage tips.

SUMMER SQUASH/ZUCCHINI:  You will receive some variety of the following: Green or Yellow Zucchini (gourmet golden or green zucchini with uniform, cylindrical fruits), Patty Pan (tender, rounded scallop, bright yellow squash with a green tip; nutty flavor), or Slick Pik Summer Squash (long, yellow straight neck with good flavor).  See Week 9 newsletter for usage and storage tips.

CHERRY TOMATOES:  You will receive any of the following: Sakura (bright-red, shiny, medium-large cherry tomato with sweet tomato flavor),  Sungreen (green-ripe cherry tomato that is sweet with a tangy kick), Sun Gold Cherry (exceptionally sweet, bright tangerine-orange-cherry tomato; less acidic than the red cherry tomato, so slightly less bland in flavor), Gold Nugget (round to slightly oval cherry tomato with deep yellow color; well-balanced flavor), Tomatoberry (unique strawberry-shaped, deep red colored fruits with firm, meaty texture and excellent sweet flavor), Clementine (tangerine-colored, oval-round fruits; appealing, sweet-tart flavor; exceptional when halved and roasted), or Cherry Bomb (vivid red fruits of cherry size; firm, sweet, and well-balanced).  See Week 11 newsletter for usage and storage tips.

WATERMELON:  You will receive Sunshine Yellow (8-10 pounds oval-rounded fruit; green-striped shell with bright yellow flesh, which is brittle, juicy, and very sweet),  Starlight (10-12 pound round fruit; deep green with highly contrasting black stripes and pink flesh; excellent flavor with crisp texture), New Orchid (sweet, bright orange flesh with sherbet-like taste and skin has dark green contrast stripes; oval round, medium large "icebox" size; similar to "Sunshine" in appearance, but larger), or Mini Love (sweet and firm, oval-round fruits avg. 3–5 lb. Distinctive, bright green rind with dark green stripes and dense, bright red flesh).  Lots of delicious, colorful surprises!  See Week 11 newsletter for usage and storage tips.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

1. FAMILY FARM HIKE on FRIDAY, Aug. 21:  Come at 1:30 PM, 3 PM, or at 4 PM for all three fun and physically distanced farm activities on Friday, August 21,   CSA member, Alisse Portnoy, who teaches at the University of Michigan, and her daughter, Jessica, are in their eleventh year of once-a-week, long visits to the farm, and they will guide our usual monthly family farm hike around our original farm at 4 PM, which typically lasts about 45 - 60 minutes.  Before then, at 1:30 PM, you have the option to join us in walking ¼ mile down the road to tour some of our newer farm land, where this year's corn, tomatoes, melons, peppers, and more -- plus pigs and cows -- are thriving. At 3:00 you may join us in roasting and then eating some of what we harvested in our outdoor earth oven, and spend some time independently exploring, swinging, or just resting in the shade. This series of events replaces our annual Kids Farm Day for 2020. There is no fee for participating, and registration is not required, though if you RSVP by emailing Deb (tantrefarm@hotmail.com) for one, two, or all three events ahead of time we'll know to keep an eye out for you and it will help us as we plan. Please bring a mask (though when we're spread out outside it will not be required). Hand sanitizer, an outdoor handwashing station, and a refreshing place to refill your water bottle will be available. 

2. WANTED: HERB WEEDERS!!   Do you like the aroma or flavor of parsley or mint?  Is there anyone interested in helping us weed a few of the herbs that are getting overrun with invasives.   We will give you a free bunch just for helping, so please contact us. 

3. IMMUNE BOOSTER CSA:  As some of you know we started a collaborative CSA with several local farms and food businesses that you can opt in or out of each week called the Immune Booster.  If you are interested, please go to our website to sign up every Monday - Wednesday night.  Pick up is from 9 AM to 12 PM every Saturday at the Washtenaw Food Hub:  http://www.tantrefarm.com/how-does-our-immune-booster-csa-work/.  Still time to sign up this week!

4. PICK UP TIMES & LOCATIONS REMINDER: **Volunteers will be at each site during designated times below.  We recommend that all come to each distribution site with a mask and gloves to pick up your shares.  We will have hand sanitizer at most sites as well. 
*Ann Arbor Farmers’ Market (Wed.)—7 AM to 12 PM (TANTRE STAFF for check-in from 7-9 AM)
*MOVE Fitness & Wellness Studio (Wed)—CHANGE IN TIME: 8 AM to 10 AM (SARA for check-in the whole time)
*Farm (Wed.)—10 AM to 7 PM (TANTRE STAFF checking off names from 10 AM-12 PM and from 2-4 PM)
*Washtenaw Food Hub (Wed.) --6 PM to 8 PM (LIZZIE for check-in the whole time)
*Pure Pastures (Wed.) (limited site) —9 AM to 5 PM (JESSICA for check-in from 9 AM – 11 PM)
*Farm (Fri.)—2 PM to 7 PM (TANTRE STAFF for check-in from 2 to  4 PM)
*Community High School (Sat.) —7 AM to 12 PM (SHANNON & FRAN for check-in for the whole time)
*Washtenaw Food Hub (Sat.)—9 AM to 12 PM (PETER & RYAN for check-in for the whole time)
*Chelsea Farmers’ Market (Sat.)—8 AM to 12 PM (DEB for check-in the whole time)
*Argus-Packard (Sat) (limited site)—12 PM to 3 PM (ARGUS STAFF for check-in the whole time)
*RoosRoast-Rosewood (Sat)--9 AM  to 11 AM (JONATHON for check-in the whole time)

HUITLACOCHE: A FUNGUS DELICACY
by Richard and Deb

	At this time of year we see a fungus on the fruit tree leaves amidst the bulbous reddening apples and peaches, since we do not spray fungicides or pesticides on our organic fruit trees.  We also find a much more coveted fungus, which grows randomly on organic corn (not sprayed with any fungicide) pronounced whee-tla-KO-cheh, also known as corn mushroom, corn smut, or Mexican truffle, and well known among chefs as the Mexican delicacy, “huitlacoche”.  
	Due to the sweet and sugary nature of the sweet corn and the open ended ears with the silken hairs conducting pollen to each kernel we are having a very excellent year for the huitlacoche fungus that is mutating and growing on the kernels creating a mushroom within each kernel that expands like white, gray foam on the outside and a black inky interior considered to be a delicacy by our Mexican brothers and sisters.  
	Fresh huitlacoche is soft and velvety. The flavor is smoky and earthy, with a taste like mushrooms mixed with corn. In Mexico you will find baskets of fresh huitlacoche in the farmers markets. This delicious mushroom is usually used as a filling in quesadillas and other tortilla-based foods, and soups. Sometimes we have made lunch and dinner on the farm with huitlacoche, using it in simple ways sautéed with butter and salt for tacos or as a pizza topping for our Friday night pizza.
	It could be considered a disappointment to see one out of every ten ears distorted with this fungus by a large scale, industrial corn farmer, but for a small scale farmer interested in the complexities and benefits of so many life forms, we consider it a magical gift sparking some good times for the dinner table.   If anyone is interested in coming to the farm to collect more huitlacoche, please let us know.  Walk out in any organic corn field, and you will receive this gift from the Mexican mushroom gods.

RECIPES
 
LEEK SALAD  Serves 4
Juice of 1 lemon
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
3 leeks, white and light green parts only, sliced thinly crosswise
2 ripe tomatoes or cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped basil for garnish
	Whisk together lemon and oil with a healthy pinch of salt and several grindings of pepper.  Toss with leeks.  Core large tomatoes, cut them in half horizontally, and shake out their seeds, squeezing gently.  Chop.  Combine all ingredients to taste. Garnish and serve.

POTATO ARUGULA SALAD (from Capay Organic Farm CSA "Farm Fresh to You" website)  Serves 4-6
1 1/2 lbs red potatoes cut into 3/4-inch cubes 
1/4 tsp pepper 
3 Tbsp white wine vinegar or regular vinegar 
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 
2 Tbsp of fresh basil, minced  
1 bunch arugula, rinsed and chopped or torn 
2 cloves minced garlic 
1 pt of cherry tomatoes, halved 
1/2 tsp salt   
	Bring large pot of salted water to boil.  Add cubed potatoes and cook until tender, about 12-15 minutes.  In a bowl, mix next 5 ingredients until salt dissolves.  Whisk in oil until it thickens.  Drain potatoes, return to pot.  Toss with dressing, tomatoes, and arugula.  Serve at room temperature.